Dr. Timothy Olawale
By Victor Young
Umbrella body of employers in Nigeria, Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, and Organised Labour will today (Monday) in Abuja, sign Memorandum of Understanding, MoU, to jointly address workplaces post-COVID-19, challenges aimed at business survival and sustaining jobs.
Parties to the signing, to be held at Labour House, Nigeria Labour Congress, NLC, headquarters, are NECA, NLC and Trade Union Congress of Nigeria, TUC.
Disclosing this in Lagos, Director-General of NECA, Dr Timothy Olawale, said it would be an event that is uncharacteristic in the annals of employers-labour relationship in Nigeria, aimed at forming a coalition to address the challenges arising from the COVID-19 pandemic in the workplace and its impact in Nigeria as a whole.
According to him, “the COVID-19 pandemic has done significant damage to businesses and changed the dynamics of the world of work.
“As employers and workers are both directly affected by the pandemic, it became necessary to work together in addressing the critical labour and socio-economic issues arising from the pandemic, especially from the perspective of the work-place.”
On the imperative for the MoU, Olawale informed that “as social partners, whose overall interest is enterprise-competitiveness, protection of workers’ rights and development of national economy, the desire to pool reflections, initiatives, and actions in the fight against COVID-19 and any external threat to businesses and workers in the private and public sectors necessitated the collaboration.
“It is no gainsaying that the rate of enterprises fatality and job loss due to COVID-19 was worrisome.
“The effects of the pandemic have escalated it to an alarming rate with large scale negative consequences for our nation.
“The signing of this MoU with NECA, NLC and TUC, will have the International Labour Organisation, ILO, Abuja Office, as a witness.
“This coalition will continue to work together post-COVID-19 to develop programmes with government and other stakeholders to ensure business sustainability and competitiveness, creation of decent jobs and rapid national development.
“Today heralds greater understanding, collaboration and mutual respect between employers and workers and provide a joint platform to constructively engage government in the advocacy for a favourable business environment that will aid economic recovery in the short term and post COVID-19.”